Low back pain has reached epidemic proportions in the western world. Research shows that 60% of the UK population will suffer from it of some stage during their lifetime. A Health Department report recommends physical treatment such as osteopathy as early as possible after onset of symptoms. Osteopathic treatment and active rehabilitation can be much more effective than the old fashioned approach of pain killers and bed rest.
What is back pain?
Trouble with your back does not simply produce pain in the back. It may be the cause of more remote symptoms like pain in the buttocks, groin or legs (commonly called sciatica). This can be brought about by pressure on specific nerve roots. Problems in the back can also bring on pain in the head, neck, shoulders and arms because they can disturb the mechanical function of the whole body. Back problems account for over 50% of the cases osteopaths see. Osteopathic treatment is often the most effective first line of attack in trying to correct these very debilitating problems. Most people think that back pain must be the result of injury. In fact, there are many disease states and pathological conditions that can give symptoms of backache.
. Abdominal or Pelvic disease
. Anxiety states
. Cervical or Lumbar Spondylosis
. Dermatological problems
. Kidney disease
. Rheumatic conditions
Osteopaths are skilled in diagnosing problems that may require further investigation or medical treatment.
While these specific conditions are not curable by osteopathic treatments, by correcting any underlying mechanical disturbances in the musculoskeletal system, osteopaths can greatly relieve the pain and distress involved in some of these problems. With your permission, the osteopath will contact your doctor if medical treatment is needed.
Most back troubles however, result from mechanical or functional disturbances of the spine and osteopaths have been successfully treating these problems for over 100 years.
Service Ten Top Tips to Back Care.
1. For back pain, better to see your osteopath sooner than later.
2. Take regular exercise – your osteopath can say what’s right for you.
3. Hours in one position can cause problems – avoid ‘computer hump’.
4. During repetitive tasks, vary your rhythm and take frequent breaks.
5. Adjust car seats and on long journeys, take regular breaks to stretch.
6. Pace yourself with heavy work like gardening – don’t risk a disc!
7. Watch children’s posture – they shouldn’t carry bags on one shoulder or spend too long at a computer without breaks.
8. During pregnancy, osteopathy can help your body adjust to changes.
9. Avoid strain when lifting, particularly small children and shopping.
10. Your bed could be part of the problem. Seek osteopathic advice on choosing a new one.
Why see an osteopath?
It is the osteopath’s comprehensive approach to healthcare that makes treatment unique.
Osteopaths do not look on patients simply as back sufferers but as individuals with their own unique requirements for health. Treatment is designed to correct each individual’s mechanical problems in order to stimulate their own natural healing processes. Osteopaths do not simply treat back problems but look at all the factors contributing to a disturbed state of natural health.